Small business owners know how challenging it can be to compete with large brands for online traffic. Think of Local SEO as a spoke on a wheel. Digital Marketing being that wheel! When you have full control of your Google My Business profile your Local SEO efforts with benefit. Your GMB profile will help optimize your Local Business on Google Search and Maps. With a Business Profile on Google, your business can stand out for free across Google Search and Maps. Local SEO is the solution because local SEO favors local companies at any time. Physical stores, local services, and repairs like plumbers, grocery, etc., are local SEO eligible businesses. Local SEO increases foot traffic in the physical stores and gains more conversions from visitors to actual buyers.
A prominent part of the local SEO depends on Google My Business. Google My Business determines how your business appears in Maps, the Knowledge Graph, and organic search results. It is a vital influence that generates quality clicks for your business. Below you can see what the dashboard looks like.
How Does Google My Business Work For Local SEO?
Google My Business profiles need to be updated frequently to work efficiently. As Google keeps changing its strategies, updating your business profile helps you to determine what generates the most impressions, clicks, and subscribers for you.
To set up local SEO using Google My Business, you need to know a few terms.
1. Business Information
Add your business name, address, and phone number. Make sure this is consistent with the information on your website and across the web. You’ll also need to add the link to your website, hours of operation
2. Business Categories
The accuracy of your profile goes hand in hand with the success of your Google My Business profile. In business categories, you can add one primary category and a few sub-categories. Try to be accurate and attractive when you choose the categories. Also, being focused help.
3. Business Description
Write a brief description of your business. Learn more. You have 750 characters to describe your business engagingly. You should use this space to explain your product or service to create the best outlook.
Post photos of your team at work, doing what they do best. Post photos so customers can discover more about your business. Use a video to tell the story of your business and what makes it unique.
5. Product & Service
In this section Google My Business allows you to showcase your products and services. For Product you can add pictures, description, price, category and add a button. For Services you can add the name, description and pricing.
6. Advanced Settings
In this section of the settings you’ll find several fields to information to. For example, store code is a unique ID for each business in your account. Anyone who manages a location on Google can see its store code. Learn more
7. Google Assistant Calls
Let customers use the Google Assistant to book with you. Also, quickly update your listing by getting occasional calls to confirm your details. Learn more
8. Profile Short Name
Make it easier for customers to find and follow your business on Maps and Search. Your short name can be changed 3 times per year
9. Google Reviews
Google reviews can make or break your business online. Google reviews are like a friend’s suggestion. If I am looking for a restaurant, I will ask my friends or see the reviews. Excellent reviews increase the footfall immensely.
Google reviews play an essential role in local SEO because it is a known Google ranking factor.
Customers can message your business and request quotes from your Business Profile. Use the Google My Business app to see new messages and requests, and quickly respond. Learn more Turn on the messaging if you have the resources to manage it. The response time and the quality of response make the impression of your business for the customer. If the response time is longer than expected, then it will go against you.
You’ll want to access the “settings” in the left side menu. Once you’re there you’ll be prompted to check on or off 13 different settings. Below is the list of settings for your Google My Business Account.
1. Important updates
Google may send you important updates about your account
2. Customer messages
Alerts when customers send a message to your business
3. Customer reviews
Updates about reviews of your Business Profile
4. Questions and answers
Alerts about questions and answers posted to your Business Profile
Alerts about bookings to your business
Alerts about new quote requests from customers
Tips and updates about photos on your Business Profile
8. Business Profile health
Alerts and suggestions to help you keep your info accurate on your Business Profile
Personalized insights and tips about your Business Profile
10. Product updates
Occasional updates about new features and offers to improve your Business Profile
Updates and suggestions about posts on your Business Profile
Alerts that remind you to respond to messages, missed calls, and booking requests
Occasional opportunities to send product feedback to Google
How else can Google My Business help my Local SEO?
Posting content to your GMB account will help customers get to know your company. The purpose of Posts is to share news and information about your business. You can also create Offers and Events.
How does Insights on Google My Business work?
Insights are an extension of your Analytics. The data presented here will help you better understand how your customers and prospects see you on Google. The data is presented in an easy way to understand. The graphs are interactive in that you can move across 3 months to see the numbers.
Let’s take a look at what each of the 7 sections cover.
1. How customers search for your business
This section of Insights shows how many customers found you and how they found you. Click or tap the chart on the dashboard to see the percentage of all customers that found you via each of these methods:
- Direct searches: A customer directly searched for your business name or address.
- Discovery searches: A customer searched for a category, product, or service that you offer, and your listing appeared.
- Branded searches: A customer searched for your brand or a brand related to your business. This category will only appear if your listing has appeared at least once for a branded search.
- Total searches: The total number of direct, discovery, and branded searches.
Tip: This graph shows you the number of people who searched for your business by name or by category. These searches are calculated individually, so if a user did a discovery search and then a direct search, we would count these as 2 searches (or one in each section).
2. Where customers view your business on Google
This section of Insights shows how many customers found you via Google Search or Google Maps. You’ll see the number of views your listing received through each of these services:
- View on Search: A customer found your business via Google Search. Displays as “Search views” on bulk reports.
- Views on Maps: A customer found your business via Google Maps. Displays as “Maps views” on bulk reports.
- Total views: The total views of both Google Search and Google Maps.
To view details on how many customers found your business on a specific product and day:
- Select the day you’re interested in.
- Desktop: Place your cursor over the day.
- Mobile: Tap on the day.
- To the right of the graph, click the checkboxes to turn on and off filters.
Tip: This represents views of your business in various sections on Search and Maps. We will display the total number of views, if the same user viewed your business both on Search and on Maps, we will display 2 views.
3. Customer actions
This section shows how customers behave after they found your listing on Google. The graph shows how many customers completed the following types of actions when viewing your listing:
- Visit your website: A customer views your website. Displays as “Website actions” on bulk reports.
- Request directions: A customer requests directions to your business. Displays as “Directions actions” on bulk reports.
- Call you: A customer calls your business. Displays as “Phone call actions” on bulk reports.
- Total actions: The total customer actions for website, directions, and phone.
To view how many customers completed an action on a specific day:
- Select the day you’re interested in.
- Desktop: Place your cursor over the day.
- Mobile: Tap on the day.
- To the right of the graph, click checkboxes to turn on and off filters.
Tip: This graph displays the total number of times anyone clicked one of the actions (e.g. “request directions”). This means that a single user can request directions to a business 100 times in a single day, and we would record 100 requests.
4. Direction requests
This section shows where customers are when they request directions to your business.
On the map displayed, you’ll see your location pinned and the popular places you customers are when they ask Google Maps for directions to your address. The total number of requests broken down by city or neighborhood are displayed as well.
You can zoom in and out on the map using the controls in the bottom-right corner.
Tip: This graph displays the number of unique users in each source location (i.e. postcode, city, and country). This means that a single user can request directions to a business 100 times in the time period, but we would only record one request.
5. Phone calls
This section displays when and how often customers called your business through your business listing.
In the Total calls graph, you can view trends of customer phone calls by Day of week or Time of day. You can use this information to see when customers call the most.
The dropdown menu in the top-right corner lets you adjust the time-frame to see data from the last week, month, or quarter.
Tip: This represents the number of clicks on the call button on your business profile. If the user copies the number and dials it manually or ends the call before it connects, you may see discrepancies between number of Phone Calls on the Insights page and number of actual calls your business receives.
This section displays the number of photos associated with your listing and how often they’re viewed compared to similar businesses in the following graphs:
- Photo views: How many times your photos have been viewed.
- Photo quantity: How many photos you’ve uploaded to your business listing.
The dropdown menu in the top-left corner lets you adjust the time-frame to see data from the last week, month, or quarter. Hovering over a specific day on the graph shows you data for that day only.
If there are enough businesses in the area similar to yours, there are lines on the graphs that compare your photo data with photo data to the similar businesses. For example, if you manage a restaurant, your business would be compared to other restaurants in your area. On the right side of the graph you’ll see the total number of photos based on the data points you’ve selected.
These sections have the following labels in bulk Insights reports:
- Total owner photos
- Owner photo views
- Total customer photos
- Customer photo views
Tip: This represents views of all your photos. If the same user views multiple photos, we will record multiple views.
Now that you understand how to set up your Google My Business profile, How to Post and How to Read Insights you’re ready to download the app to get notifications in real time.
Once you’ve optimized the profile go to Google and search for your business name and the city you’re located in. The results should display the Google Knowledge Graph on the right-hand side of the screen. Searchers will be able to view your name, address, phone, reviews, photos and more.
Google My Business is a great tool to increase your prominence and visibility in your local community. Don’t miss out on the opportunity drive more traffic to your website and your store. Google also offers additional resources for small business on the Grow website. Whether you’re looking for tutorials to better understand your customers or help in acquiring marketing skills you’ll find a infinite amount of quality content on the Grow website. If your business needs Local SEO Services you can schedule a free consultation with our team.